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UBL and GAIN Launch Pilot Project to Improve Sustainability


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Unilever Bangladesh (UBL), the country’s leading Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) are collaborating on a pilot project aimed at enhancing the environmental sustainability and public health of Bangladesh's urban areas titled ‘For People & Planet: Resilient, Healthy & Sustainable Food & Environment Systems.’

Unilever Bangladesh and GAIN representative on the pilot project launch event

Fresh markets serve as vital food sources for households across Bangladesh's cities, offering a diverse array of produce at affordable prices. However, the lack of adequate hygiene and sanitation facilities for retailers, shopkeepers, and vendors poses a significant threat to food safety and hygiene. Furthermore, using plastic packets makes the waste management system worse.

The pilot project aims to improve the environmental and public health of Bangladeshi cities by targeting the critical generators of low-value plastic waste in fresh markets to reduce and recycle waste by promoting alternative innovations in plastics used in food markets, along with approaches for collectors and service providers in managing and processing low-value plastic waste. The project will train and engage cleaners, market vendors, youth, packaging suppliers, government officials, market committees, and customers, offering collaborative solutions and empowered action to reduce the use of one time used polyethene in food market and identify a sustainable plastic waste disposal solution.

Dr. Rudaba Khondker, Country Director, GAIN Bangladesh, said, “Our collective effort aims to reduce plastic waste using human-centric design towards sustainable and resilient food systems transformation in Bangladesh. The initiative will contribute to food and nutrition security and food safety while making cities and wet markets consumer-friendly through game-changing initiatives and ownership by the vendors and market committee. We are striving and will contribute to creating a better future for all.”

Zaved Akhtar, Chairman and Managing Director, Unilever Bangladesh Limited (UBL), said. “As part of Unilever’s global sustainability strategy on plastics, our aim is to create and collaborate on innovative initiatives that support in reducing plastic waste from the environment. Our partnership with GAIN addresses the pressing issues of plastic waste and food hygiene in fresh markets and will not only improve public health but also raise awareness and contribute to the behaviour change of consumers and nurture a more environmentally conscious society."

The collaboration between Unilever Bangladesh Ltd. and GAIN underscores a shared commitment to driving positive change and promoting sustainable development in Bangladesh. By tackling plastic waste and improving food hygiene standards, the partnership aims to create lasting impacts for both people and the planet.

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